Yesterday, Vitalik Buterin entered a discussion on reddit to list the criticisms of Ethereum that he believes are valid. While he expressed that these issues were a matter of personal opinion, Buterin’s post sheds some light on the mindset of Ethereum’s development community.
On July 5, 2017, Vitalik Buterin answered an inquiry posted on r/ethtrader to address which Ethereum critiques merit consideration and discussion. As co-creator of Ethereum and the most visible face of the Ethereum Foundation, Buterin articulates concerns that are likely prevalent among those in the development community. In this article, I will attempt to explain Buterin’s concerns in layman’s terms.IMO [In my opinion] the most valid criticisms of Ethereum as it currently stands are: 1. Scalability sucks; the blockchain design fundamentally relies on bottlenecks where individual nodes must process every single transaction in the entire network
From a social and technical standpoint, scalability is a major obstacle to Ethereum’s continued development. As the network grows, achieving consensus to enact significant changes will prove more difficult. Detraction by mining pools and activists alike may hinder Ethereum’s rise. From issues of size and speed to throughput limitations and gas controversies, there is no overarching solution to scalability. Instead, it’s a puzzle that will require work on many fronts – which is probably why Buterin lists this as the number one issue.2. PoW is extremely expensive, and furthermore is fundamentally vulnerable to 51% spawn camping attacks with no effective strategy for recovering from one. Selfish mining is profitable starting at 25-33% hashpower, and 51% censorship attacks are definitely profitable.
In its simplest terms, Proof-of-Work (PoW) is the way that miners confirm transactions and enter them into a blockchain. The longer a blockchain becomes, the harder it is to alter previous transactions. However, by vi...